WASHINGTON: When Cavaliers coach Byron Scott suggested Thursday that Antawn Jamison needed to sit out one of the string of three games in three nights that began Friday, the 13-year veteran forward was more than happy to oblige.
But surprisingly, when Scott suggested the middle game would be best, against the Wizards in Washington, Jamison went along with that, too. Jamison played with the Wizards for over five seasons before being traded to the Cavs in February 2010.
“I thought there was going to be a little resistance from him,” Scott said.
Jamison watched from the bench Saturday at the Verizon Center as Luke Harangody made his first NBA start in Jamison’s place as the Cavs took on the Wizards.
Earlier in the day, Harangody was recalled from the Cavs’ D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, after scoring 16 points in a playoff opener Friday night against Springfield (Mass.). Harangody is headed back to Springfield today, when the postseason series resumes.
Jamison, 35, was one of only three Cavs who had played in all 57 games this season. Now the last two standing are Alonzo Gee and Omri Casspi. Jamison was averaging a team-high 33.7 minutes per game.
Scott said he first broached the idea to Jamison after Wednesday’s overtime loss to the Pacers at home.
“As I said to you guys and to my coaches in the overtime period, ‘I don’t think our guys have anything left,’ ” Scott said. “I talked to him the next day and he said, ‘Coach, it was like a boxing match, I was just dead.’
“That gave me the idea of saying, ‘These next three, let’s just sit out one.’ This one would be the one in the middle, which I thought would be the easiest one. Give him another day of rest. He didn’t fight me at all. He understood where I was coming from. He’ll get himself ready for Orlando.” The Cavs host the Magic at 6 tonight.
Scott said Harangody kept his emotions in check when he told him he was getting the starting assignment. Harangody didn’t give away the news when reporters spoke to him in the pregame locker room.
“I told him just a little while ago, ‘Welcome back and I’m going to start you. Let’s have some fun,’ ” Scott said. “He said, ‘OK.’ He didn’t seem overly excited. He seemed like he was ready to go. You made this long trip, you might as well play about 25 or 30 minutes and see how you do.”
Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving, on track to be named rookie of the year, has missed eight of the last nine games with a bruised and sprained right shoulder he injured March 30 against Milwaukee. While some would suggest the Cavs should shut him down for the final eight games, Scott said Irving told him he was ready to play.
Tuesday will be a crucial day if that’s going to happen. Scott said Irving will go through shoot-around before the game at Detroit and the session will include some drills like five-on-five to see how the shoulder reacts.
Parker voted Good Guy
Cavs guard Anthony Parker is the recipient of the seventh annual Austin Carr Good Guy Award, chosen by the local chapter of the Pro Basketball Writers Association.
Named after Cavs legend Austin Carr, the award recognizes a player for being cooperative and understanding of the media, the community and the public.
A free agent who signed a second contract with the Cavs just before training camp in December, Parker has been the starter at shooting guard since he arrived in Cleveland in July 2009. He served as the Cavs’ player representative during the lockout despite being unsigned.
Past winners of the award were Jamison, Jamario Moon, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Damon Jones, Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes.
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